MONTREAL - Resolute Forest Products Inc. has announced the permanent closure of its Laurentide paper mill in Shawinigan, Quebec. The restart of a competitor's mill at the end of 2012, the high cost of fiber, as well as higher transportation and fuel costs, have affected the mill's competitiveness, the company said.
"We made every effort to find a way to improve the Laurentide mill's performance. Unfortunately, due to its cost structure and challenging market conditions, there is no economically viable option for the mill," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.
In operation for more than 126 years, the Laurentide mill employs 275, with an annual production capacity of 191,000 metric tons of commercial printing papers. The permanent closure will take effect on or about 15 Oct 2014.
The company said it understands the impact this decision will have on employees, their families and the local community. Resolute added that it will work with union representatives and government officials to respond to the needs of affected employees and encourage a smooth transition. Management will also ensure that each employee receives support, that the relevant conditions in the collective agreements are respected, and that as many employees as possible are transferred to other company facilities, Resolute said.
"We will do our utmost to ensure employee safety during the transition. We will also work closely with our customers to continue to meet their needs," Garneau said.